The Biggest Barriers to Meeting Your Goals (and How to Overcome Them)

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It’s a new year, and many of us are thinking about setting some new goals to go along with it. Setting goals can be a challenge — after all, there are so many things to choose from, especially in a profession like respiratory care that offers a wide diversity in practice settings. However, meeting those goals takes the concept of “challenge” to new heights.

What are the most significant barriers most people face when achieving their goals, and how can you get past them? Here are four that often come up and what you can do about them —

Picking the wrong goal for you: The first thing you need to do when setting a goal is to make sure it is a goal you want to meet, not just a goal that you think everyone else thinks you should want to meet. For example, in respiratory care, it might be easy to say, “My goal is to go into management,” simply because everyone assumes that’s where the higher salaries lie. But if the idea of sitting behind a desk all day makes you want to squirm, you’ll never be motivated to do the specific work it takes to get there. Instead, be true to yourself and pick goals that you are genuinely passionate about.

Failing to make a plan: Let’s say one of your top goals is to advance your RT education. Saying it is easy, but without careful thought and a lot of research into the type of degree programs out there that might meet your needs (e.g., in-person, online, etc.), you’ll never get past the wishing and hoping stage. So invest some time and energy in determining the steps required to meet your goal and then set up a timeline that you can follow to ensure you get from point A to point B. As you complete each item on your timeline, check it off so you can see the progress you’re making.

Excuses, excuses, excuses: We all have reasons why we didn’t do something that we really did want to do. Maybe it’s a new house, or a new relationship, or even a new job that ends up consuming all the air in the room. Don’t let those things throw you off track from the work you know you need to do to meet the goal you set for yourself. If the goal is important, those other things in your life can make room for it.

Letting setbacks take over: Even if you have the best timeline in the world and have learned to say “no” to the things that seem to be conspiring to take up all the time you have to devote to your goal, you are likely to run into some obstacles that will require some readjustments to the plan. Whether those obstacles are professional, or personal, or financial, don’t let them make you throw up your hands and give up. Instead, figure them into the equation and continue moving forward.

So as you think about your 2022 goals, remember these simple tips. They can help ensure the goal you set today is one you reach tomorrow.

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